Monday, March 30, 2015

In Recognition of National Library Week April 12-18

Jackson Library hawk 10-17-11
photo by Suzanne Angel,
former colleague in the University Libraries
For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same; there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.--Often falsely attributed to F. Scott Fitzgerald on the Internet but actually written by Eric Roth, who wrote “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay” based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald short story

This quotation caught my attention one day when a friend posted a version of it on a social media account.  I liked it, but as is my practice I like to see if I can determine the source of an attribution, and so found that it apparently came from a movie based on an F. Scott Fitzgerald short story rather than from Fitzgerald himself.

So what? 

I think it demonstrates why working in the University Libraries at UNCG is so stimulating.  We like to get it right, whether it is right about a quotation or right about a program to benefit our students and faculty.  We’re curious about things like ideas and facts and people, you see, and we care about our work.  I recently visited some of our reference librarians, who are like terriers when they get a question they don’t have an answer for.  Even when I told them it wasn’t worth more effort, their sense of curiosity about my question led them to find the person who could answer it.  For the record, they did, as they do for countless patrons who seek their help each day.

One colleague in Technical Services so enjoys the research about the books she is working with that she makes blog posts about them. Another recently came in on a Saturday, her day off, to show a special collections exhibit to area high school students.   Yet another stopped by to tell me that Andrew Delbanco, who is coming to UNCG to speak in April, is the brother of Nicholas Delbanco, whose father-in-law was Bernard Greenhouse, whose cello collection is in our library.  Nicholas Delbanco, it seems, once visited our library and prevailed upon his father-in-law to deposit his papers here.  Who would know such a thing except a colleague who is intensely interested in his work and in what we do here in the libraries at UNCG?

It’s not just ideas and facts that we care about.  We care even more about the welfare of our students and colleagues working here at UNCG and about our community.  It’s nice when those we serve notice and acknowledge that caring.  A colleague recently forwarded me an email from a UNCG athlete who had touched him by sending a note thanking him for always being at UNCG athletics contests and supporting the student athletes.  There have been many other expressions of appreciation to our colleagues, of course, and while appreciated we don’t ever expect or require them. 

Nevertheless, in celebration of National Library Week coming up April 12-18,  I offer this, my own word of appreciation to my colleagues and library patrons and supporters, who care so much about what we do here at UNCG.  Many thanks for what you do.

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